Postpartum

The Joy of Hand, Foot, and Mouth

What a doozy the last couple weeks have been around our households. As you can assume from the title of this post, Hand, Foot, and Mouth (HFM) Disease has been running rampant in our babies’ lives, and in turn ours. If you don’t know what HFM is, it’s not to be confused with the merry childhood song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”, although all of these body parts feel awful in kids who get this. HFM is this annoyingly contagious virus that takes out daycare centers across the nation one slobbery toy at a time. The most common symptoms of this are blisters/sores in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet. It shows up as varying levels of severity and discomfort. Ellie had a rash on her belly and hands and a REALLY bad diaper rash. She did not have a fever, which is a fairly common symptom, but she drooled a ton which tells me her mouth/throat was bothering her. She was certainly uncomfortable, the surly teenager in her was in full force. Sometimes the symptoms can persist for a week. For more information on what HFM Disease is, including symptoms and treatment, check out the CDC’s website here.

All in all, we had to pick up Ellie Friday morning from daycare and she was ready to go back Monday. This seemed somewhat short and was not too terrible if you ask me, but like any other time your kid gets sick, it sucks in the moment. To be honest, it was actually surprising Ellie was able to stave off this bugger for as long as she did. There had been reports of HFM going around daycare for a little over a week and a half prior to Ellie showing any signs.

Oh, and for funsies, this is not just a kid virus. Us adults can get it too. I picked this really fun virus up from sipping off the same cup as one of my nieces a few years back. She rode it out like a champ, not me. I felt like I was hit by a train for a couple weeks, as if I had been walking around on Christmas tree needles, with a fever, and a sore throat to boot. My advice, try your hardest to not pick this up by sharing cups, etc., if you know your kid has this. It’s a million times worse to care for a sick kid when you are unwell too.

So what can you do for it?

Sorry to say that I have little good news here. Nothing. Zippo. Just ride it out. It is not any fun for a few days while your poor kid is a puddle of discomfort. We did take Ellie to the doctor to confirm what she had was HFM and to see if there was anything we could do for the discomfort. Ellie’s pediatrician prescribed some anti-fungal cream that we mixed with Vaseline and diaper rash paste to help with her bad diaper rash. This brand (Boudreaux’s Butt Paste) of diaper paste is the only one that worked for us. Other than that, yogurt and other chilled food helped a little with her mouth/throat, but that’s about it.

Lastly, as a PSA, if your family comes down with HFM please keep your kid(s) home until they are no longer contagious, as with any illness. Your pediatrician can tell you when your child is no longer contagious and ready to rejoin the general public. Other parents will thank you immensely for not sharing this super pleasant visitor with their kids.

Be well, friends!

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